Baker looking forward to festival

Visitors to this year’s Scarecrow Festival in Washington Court House will get a sneak preview of new songs from Kaitlyn Baker’s upcoming new EP, “Blackbird.”

The 22-year-old singer/songwriter, who will open for country star Craig Morgan, has been putting finishing touches on her EP, which will be dedicated in memory of one of her late band members. Guitarist Thomas Estep was killed in a drunk-driving accident earlier this year, when a car crossed over the center of a highway and struck him head-on.

“The blackbird is sort of an outcast among birds,” Baker said. “The title track of the EP is about standing up for what you believe, and not letting anyone discourage you or get you down. Thomas was a very carefree spirit. He did not care what other people thought of him. He was a great friend and musician, and I miss him a lot.”

Other songs on the album are being kept under wraps, but were co-written by Baker and songwriters Larry Cordle and Tony Mullins, both of whom have written hits for some of the biggest names in country music.

Baker has been making waves in Nashville, since the release of her song “Coal Train” two years ago. The ballad was chosen by the Academy of Country Music for inclusion in the ACM Awards ZinePak, a compilation album that also included tracks by Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan and other superstars.

Baker has also released other songs to country radio, including “Burn” and, more recently, “To Pieces,” both of which are available on her previous EP, “Coal Train.” Additionally, her song “Heart of Appalachia” is the official theme song for her native Southwest Virginia.

“I understand that Washington Court House was settled by former Revolutionary War soldiers from my home state of Virginia, so I can’t wait to come there,” she said. “I love visiting historic towns.”

The 2017 Scarecrow Festival will run from Sept. 15-17, according to event organizers. Baker will open for Morgan at the corner of South Main and East East streets on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. For information, visit or call 740-335-8008.

A multi-faceted entertainer, the Scarecrow Festival headliner, Craig Morgan, has made a name for himself as a country music icon, television host, celebrated outdoorsman and patriotic Army veteran. The Black River Entertainment artist regularly thrills massive crowds with signature hits, including “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “International Harvester,” “This Ole Boy,” “Wake Up Loving You,” and the six-week number one hit, “That’s What I Love About Sunday.”

Additionally, The United Way of Fayette County reminds the community about the Scarecrow 5k also being held on Sept. 16. All participants receive a t-shirt, finisher’s medal and race day swag bag. Start the day with a fun 5K down the bike path to Christman Park and back, then enjoy all the festivities of the Scarecrow Festival. Pre-registration is $25 and race day registration is $30. Pick up a registration form at the United Way office (101 E. East St.) or City Building (105 Main St.) or register online at ($1 online fee) or download form at Call the United Way office at (740) 335-8932 with questions.

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Kaitlyn Baker at the Holmes County Fair. Baker at the Holmes County Fair.

The Record-Herald